Friday, November 4, 2022

Short Takes: $340k Phone Hack, Harsh Investment Lessons, and more

Early this year I got a new U.S. dollar credit card but had a hard time getting a reasonable credit limit.  After some trouble, I managed to get the bank to increase the credit limit a little.  This week I got a popup after logging in to my online banking telling me I was pre-approved for another US$4000 increase.  This happened shortly after I had maxed out the card and then paid it off.  I guess they just wanted to see more of a track record on this card before upping the limit, even though I already have a multi-decade track record with another credit card at the same bank.  I was amused when I clicked to accept the pre-approved credit limit increase and got a message saying that they would let me know whether they would “approve my request.”  Later, another automated message congratulated me on getting “my request” for a higher credit limit approved.  What I’d like to know is how often these “pre-approved” credit limit increases get rejected.

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Eric Falkenstein explains how he was hacked and lost $340,000 worth of cryptocurrencies.  The hack began with a mysterious transfer of his phone, but the phone company thwarted his attempts to figure out how it happened.  Another interesting discovery in his investigation is that supposed white-hat hackers offering help are actually thieves who intend to hack you again and who know how to “keep their reputation clean on the web” by getting complaints about them removed.

Andrew Hallam explains some harsh investment lessons that we can only learn in difficult times.

Jonathan Clements is generous in saying that most news isn’t useful to investors.  He makes it clear in the body of his article that paying attention to most financial news goes beyond uselessness and is dangerous for your financial future.

Justin Bender
compares Canadian Equity ETFs: VCN vs. XIC.  In another article and video, he analyzes U.S. stock ETFs trading in Canadian and U.S. markets.

The Blunt Bean Counter
goes through the many estate and tax planning issues he sees with his well-to-do clients.


  1. I got a Mastercard World Elite from BMO through one of those pop ups. Funny thing is that if I had applied for it, they would have rejected it out of hand due to WAY too low of an annual income. Oh well.

    1. They must have offered it to you based on some sort or criteria. I find it hard to discern what those criterisa are.

  2. Hi Michael - what are your thoughts on long term bonds (e.x. ZAG) that yield 3.6% approximately? I believe I asked you this a few months ago but since then yields have risen for ZAG while price has come down. Appreciate your thoughts always.

    1. I tend to avoid long term bonds mainly because I'm not looking for risk in my fixed income investments. That said, the yield offered isn't crazily low like it was back in 2020, so owning long term bonds is reasonable enough right now.